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International Partnerships
News announcement21 December 2020Directorate-General for International Partnerships

EU boosts sustainable tourism in Cabo Verde

Cape Verde

Today, the European Union and the Government of Cabo Verde signed an agreement to finance the extension of two port infrastructures and to promote sustainable tourism.

Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships, said: “In line with the objectives of the Green Deal, this action promotes a green and inclusive growth model for the tourism industry that can then be replicated in other parts of the archipelago. In a country where tourism contributes 25% of GDP this action will have a transformative impact.

The aim of both the EU and the Government of Cabo Verde is to modernise and extend the ports of Palmeira and Porto Ingles, in the islands of Sal and Maio, as well as to support the sustainable economic development of both islands.

Sustainable tourism will trigger positive dynamics for other sectors of Maio’s economy, like the cattle industry, fisheries and transport, transforming the island into a net contributor to the country’s GDP growth.

The Financing Agreement signed with the Ministry of Finances is a blending action amounting to €44.1 million. The EU contribution is €17 million, while the rest has been co-financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Government of Cabo Verde.

This action is part of a regional programme to leverage financing for infrastructure projects that promote sustainable economic development and regional integration in West Africa.

Team Europe leads the way on regional partnerships

The Team Europe initiative encompasses a duration of 5 years and will be implemented through three contracts:

  • a contribution agreement with the African Development Bank to develop the port infrastructures in Sal and Maio islands, along with measures to support communities in the intervention zones;
  • a grant with the Municipality of the island of Maio to implement social, economic and environmental initiatives in consortia with civil society organisations
  • a contribution agreement with Camões, to develop a sustainable solid waste management plant for the island of Maio.

To ensure the success of the programme the government has agreed to develop a number of policies and regulatory frameworks for Maio that are critical for the environmental and social sustainability of the program. The extension of the port infrastructures together with the Declaration of the Island of Maio as a UNESCO Reserve of the Biosphere, last October, will have a positive impact for the future evolution of this island. The action is aligned with the Government’s recently launched “Ambition 2030” strategy.

The consequences of climate change and the COVID-19 crisis are putting at risk the modest economic achievements of the island of Maio, and its long-term future development. In this context, international tourism will play a positive role.

Background information

Since 2007, the partnership between the EU and Cabo Verde is focused on good governance; security and stability, including the fight against drug-trafficking and organised crime; regional integration; sustainable development and the fight against poverty; information and knowledge-based society and culture and normative and technical convergence. The EU also has a Mobility Partnership with Cabo Verde since 2008, as well as a Readmission Agreement, the first one with an African country.

The EU supports Cabo Verde’s efforts in eradicating poverty as well as promoting sustainable and inclusive growth, fostering domestic accountability, strengthening national control mechanisms, improving basic services delivery, and contributing to its competiveness and private sector development.

In the framework of the 11th EDF, the country has benefitted extensively from EU development funds: €82 million through the national envelope. Those funds have been complemented by additional funds from regional initiatives, such as this Team Europe action to renovate the ports of Maio and Sal.


Publication date
21 December 2020
Directorate-General for International Partnerships